John Stiby of Knoll was a Huguenot, one of many Protestants fleeing from France during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to avoid persecution and even death at the hands of French Catholics. In those days long overland journeys in England were very difficult and dangerous, particularly for refugees, and also sea transport was totally dependent on winds and tides and finding good harbours, so the shortest sea crossing was very seldom the most practical. Huguenots tried to reach ports and harbours very close to towns and villages where other Huguenots had already settled. Many made for London of course, but other ports of entry for Huguenots were Rye in Sussex, Boston in Lincolnshire and Wareham and Weymouth in Dorset, which in those days were important seaports - even today there are still large Huguenot communities in each. We think that it was John Stiby’s father who came over from France and landed at Wareham, although we are still researching this, and that John married an English girl in a village called Loders. For the next two hundred years he and all his descendants lived in Loders or the surrounding villages, and this is confirmed by the Loders Church registers. This map shows these villages.